“…And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the [wo]man who walked a thousand miles
To fall down at your door
Da da lat da (Da da lat da)
Da da lat da (Da da lat da)”
4/13/2014: Roll back the calendar four years. I had been diagnosed with AML/MDS in early January and had completed 3 cycles of Vidaza (azacitadine). Miraculously, my blood counts were rising toward normal and my blast percentage falling. Both my oncologist and hematologist were urging me to get a bone marrow transplant but the prospect seemed dismal, especially with the high risk of death or other serious complications. Why make myself ill when I felt healthy?
I’m not inclined to ask for advice, preferring to research and decide for myself. No one’s ever accused me of being indecisive! Yet, there I was with my emotions all over the place and not knowing which way to turn. I’m also generally a loner, by choice, but discovered a wonderful online community at Marrowforums.org. Laura (pictured right with Simon), then nearing her first rebirthday, immediately grabbed my attention. Her journey had taken many difficult twists and turns but she’d not only persevered – she’d offered practical advice, assistance, and hope to others like me who had barely taken their first steps.
Laura’s fifth rebirthday is fast approaching on June 18th. In typical fashion, Laura is kicking off her grand celebration with her husband, Ryan, by participating in the Be The Match® Walk/Run in Minneapolis on May 17 to raise critical funds to help match volunteer marrow donors with patients who have blood disorders like aplastic anemia, MDS, leukemia, or lymphoma. PLEASE DONATE to help Laura reach her goal of raising $500 for this worthy organization that saved both of our lives and continues to save the lives of countless others around the world.
Laura and I have a lot in common besides being transplantees, and we connected on a very personal level. I jokingly claim we’re transplant twins, separated at rebirth. Michael and I are incredibly excited about our upcoming trip to Rochester, MN in June to help Laura celebrate her 5th rebirthday with Simon and her other family and friends.